The positions that would be eliminated this year are not union jobs, according to the Teamsters. The layoffs will instead affect managerial staff, “throughout the world and in all functions,” a statement by UPS said. The moves reflect a “change in the way we work,” Ms. Tomé said, and even if business rebounds, those jobs may not come back, she added. Employees will also be expected to work from the office five days a week, she added.
UPS said it had recorded a 12 percent increase in wages for unionized workers in the fourth quarter as a result of the new contract. To reduce the hit to profits, the company said it reduced workers’ hours by about 10 percent last quarter.
UPS shares fell more than 8 percent Tuesday morning.
The company said that it expected package volumes to continue falling in the first half of this year, before recording positive growth in the second half. The company’s weak demand forecast and job cuts stand in contrast to recent economic indicators showing resilient global growth and signs of an economic “soft landing,” defying predictions of a deeper downturn.
Still, the number of workers being laid off across the United States ticked up slightly in December, according to Labor Department data released on Tuesday. And several tech and media companies have announced large layoffs in recent months.
While the rate of overall layoffs is low compared with prepandemic levels, certain industries are feeling it more than others. “If you’re in those industries, it probably feels pretty uncomfortable right now,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter.